After a long and grueling fight to get the season back on track, the Rangers suffered their first loss since getting hot when they were in Pittsburgh by a score of 3-2. This is the team’s first loss since their disaster of a performance against the Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden. Although not having the 7 straight wins behind this roster isn’t as enjoyable as knowing they’d just won for two weeks straight, this was far from the worst performance of the year.
New York would take an early lead in this one via a goal 22 seconds in off of a Chris Kreider snapshot. There was a lot of hope early in this game that the Rangers would manage to convert this lead into another win with how Shesterkin has been recently and how the Rangers have been performing so well. Unfortunately, that just wasn’t the case as we all know too well.
Three straight Penguin goals from Evgeni Malkin, Bryan Rust, and Sidney Crosby would leave the Rangers in a hole they would never recover from. Kreider would net his second of the night but it would be in vain as the Rangers lost for the first time in eight games. While it is disappointing to see them lose, they were not going to win every game for the rest of the year and the recent win streak has earned the team a little leeway.
With a defeat in Pittsburgh, the Penguins have overtaken the Rangers in the standings for third place in the Metropolitan Division. New York drops to the first wild card three points clear of their Brooklyn native rivals. They will take on the Islanders in their next game too so their schedule is not going to get any easier for the Blueshirts. With other teams in the Metro keeping up the wins, the Rangers need to get back to it soon.